Combat veteran says drafting women would add 'greater talent' to US military

Drafting women into the military would give the U.S. a significant advantage and open the armed services to “greater talent,” Retired Lt. Col. Kate Germano told Hill.TV on Tuesday.

“Think about it: Women comprise 51 percent of the U.S. population, and yet for so long we have limited the talent pool to just men,” Germano said. “Opening up the doors to women in all of these new jobs and all of these capacities really opens the U.S. up to greater talent."

She added that many female service members would agree, and called drafting women in times of war the “last bastion of citizenship.”

“To deny women that opportunity and that right has really been problematic for us for so long,” she said. "So having women thrown into this pool of talent allows us to combat the arguments against women in the military."

Germano also pushed back on those who say women are physically inferior to men.

“The reality is there are very many small men in the military. There are larger, taller women who are more muscular in the military and civilian populace,” Germano told Hill.TV. “And so making this broad generalization -- assuming that men are somehow because of their physiology more capable of serving than women -- is really a false argument.”

Her comments come after a federal judge in Texas ruled that an all-male draft was unconstitutional, saying “the time has passed” for debating the role of women in the military.

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought by a men’s rights group called the National Coalition for Men, which argued that the all-male draft is unfair.

Men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register with Selective Service. If Congress and the president authorize a draft, men in that age group would be called to serve by way of a random lottery. The most recent draft was during the Vietnam War.

The recent court ruling in Texas renewed questions about the Selective Service process, which is already under review.

Congress in 2017 established a committee called the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service to help address issues about the Selective Service System, such as whether women should be included in a draft.

Even though the Pentagon has argued in favor of keeping the Selective Service System and expanding it to include women, the concept hasn't been as widely accepted by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The Senate in 2016 adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have required women to register for the draft. That language was later stripped from the bill.

—Tess Bonn